Switzerland, where the government is trying to make life easier for unemployed people, has seen a dramatic rise in joblessness and suicide attempts, but there is a small group of people who can help with that problem.
A new study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that people who have a career in counselling have a 25 per cent lower chance of committing suicide compared with people who do not have a job, and that counselling may be an effective way of preventing suicide.
In fact, the study found that counsellors who are currently unemployed, or who have stopped looking for work, have a 75 per cent higher suicide risk compared with those who are looking for a job.
It was conducted in the Swiss canton of Vaud, which is in the canton Bern, and involved 2,500 people.
The researchers found that the people with a job who completed counselling were at higher risk of committing self-harm, with a higher risk than the non-employed participants.
But the study did not look at the causes of self-harming, such as the fact that people with jobs are more likely to take on more responsibilities, and so it is not possible to conclude that this is the reason for the higher suicide rate.
In the study, there were 8,821 participants.
It found that if a person was unemployed and self-harmed, the risk of suicide was reduced by 22 per cent, compared with a non-jobless person who did not receive counselling.
The research also found that those who completed the counselling had a 27 per cent reduced risk of self harm compared with the non participants.
In Switzerland, the minimum wage is currently 15,500 Swiss francs ($16,800).
Swiss employers are also concerned about the rise in the number of people turning to suicide.
The government has proposed increasing the minimum pay for workers to 40,000 Swiss franc and lowering it to 20,000 from the current 25,000.
But that proposal has been opposed by the Swiss Confederation.